Eat Your Way Through Iceland (at Home) with These Foods
With waterfalls, volcanoes, and fjords, it's no wonder Iceland is one of the most sought-after vacation destinations. But even if you can't get to the Northern European country, you can still draw inspiration from its food. Known for its fish, lamb, and skyr-based dishes, Iceland is one of several island nations that are not only on the frontlines of the climate crisis but are innovating the way we think about food production.
In recent years, Icelandic companies have focused on renewable energy technology such as geothermal, sustainable sourcing, and regenerative agriculture. Many are working towards being carbon neutral and helping to transition the food and agriculture industries from a throwaway mindset to one of reuse, repair, and regeneration. Paving the way for a sustainable future while creating lots of delicious things to eat and drink in the process. Here are 7 Icelandic foods to add to your pantry and fridge when you can't hop a flight but still want to explore the country.
It's an island nation surrounded by pristine waters so it's no surprise that seafood has long reigned supreme in Iceland. And now an Icelandic company is transforming the process of land-based fish farming. Matorka is a carbon neutral enterprise that uses renewable energy and high-tech monitoring systems to produce sustainable arctic char and steelhead trout that you can buy online in the U.S.
Seaweed Sea Salt
It seems like everyone is talking about seaweed these days. Ease into the trend with Saltverk's hand-harvested seaweed salt. The company forages for various types of seaweed found along the shores of Iceland, and the gourmet salt producer uses fully sustainable operations to produce sea salt with zero carbon emissions, thanks to the geothermal resources in the area.
Rhubarb, when in season, is a favorite Icelandic ingredient and thanks to Reykjavik Distillery, you can enjoy the flavor of rhubarb all year long by sipping on Rhubarb Liqueur. The micro-distillery also makes spirits gin, crowberry liqueur, and more from Icelandic berries and botanicals. They suggest using Rhubarb Liqueur to make an Icelandic Negroni with their crowberry liqueur and Einiberja Gin.
Thicker and less tangy than Greek yogurt, skyr is one of the more accessible Icelandic foods to come by. You've likely seen Icelandic Provisions skyr in your supermarket. Enjoy it plain, with granola, or use it as an ingredient in baking.
The hotdog is Iceland's unofficial dish, but this isn't your American hotdog. Icelandic hotdogs are made of lamb, pork, and beef. They're commonly topped with condiments such as pylsusinnep ( a sweet brown mustard) remoulade, crispy fried onions, and/or raw white onions. You can now find them in the U.S. through the Icelandic food store TopIceland.
You haven't tasted wasabi until you've had it fresh. Icelandic startup Jurt Hydroponics grows Nordic wasabi in their indoor greenhouse, shipping it within 48 hours of harvest. Use it on deviled eggs, salmon, or even in ice cream.
Using single-origin cocoa beans from Madagascar, Tanzania, and Nicaragua; Omnom Chocolate makes bean-to-bar chocolate with a variety of Icelandic ingredients and flavors like licorice with milk chocolate or dark chocolate with dried raspberries and crunchy cocoa nibs, and the vegan Superchocoberrybarleynibblynuttylicious made with cranberries, salted almonds, puffed barley, and cacao nibs.